On May 16, Lethbridge Police received reports of eight needles, a naloxone kit, and pistol ammunition by Westminster Elementary school. Sarah Villebrun, who found the items says she canvass the area every 2 hours, and finding needles at the park, is a common occurrence.
“I find needles quite frequently. More specifically, there’s a lot of people that are using narcotics in the park, so I go over there,” says Villebrun, “if I find somebody in the park that’s using, I’ll ask them to clean up their own needles”.
Robert Meyer has lived in Lethbridge for 20 years, and he’s irate that needles, drug paraphernalia, and even feces has been found at the park where his grandchildren play.
“I’m angry, now, my question is, do you have children? Do you have grandchildren? Do you think you would be upset? Do you think you’d be hurt if your city…your grandkids, your child was poked with a needle (and) got sick, possibly died?” asks Meyer.
Mayor Chris Spearman encourages community members to reach out to the city’s public services numbers. He admits council has not been able to combat the drug crisis, saying the city is in dire need of supportive housing and recovery centres.
“We haven’t made any progress on homelessness, and associated with that is drug use and crimes. Until we actually begin addressing the underlying issues, we will always have these social issues,” explains Spearman.
Lethbridge Police Service declined an interview, but says the ammunition found Sunday will be held to see if it may be associated with another outstanding file. Bridge City News also reached out to the Lethbridge School Division, and did not receive a response.